23 April 2013

Animal Services Office

Abigail Smith present the Animal Services Office 2014 Forecast Presentation.

hello my name is Abigail Smith and I

have the privilege of serving as your chief animal services officer for the city of austin thank you for joining me i'm going to be going through the Animal Services offices fiscal year 2014 budget forecast the Animal Services office is made up of three units the first is Animal Protection Animal Protection enforces state and local laws serves as the rabies authority for Travis County the Prevention Unit focuses on public education and outreach with a primary purpose of providing services and resources to community members in need the prevention unit specifically works on the spay neuter program for the public finally shelter services is made up of customer service animal care veterinary services and administration and is responsible for an average of twenty thousand animals a year customer service handles an average intake of 55 animals each and every day and provides live outcomes for more than ninety percent of them Animal Care is responsible for providing food water cleaning and general care for over 500 animals each day at the facility and finally veterinary services operates a fully equipped veterinary hospital that

runs seven days a week providing emergency and routine care for every animal in need five years ago nearly fifty percent of the animals entering the city shelter were euthanized in 2010 City Council passed a resolution to change that statistic and over three years implemented the policies and programs that have facilitated Austin's no-kill success in fact Austin ranks in the top 20 largest municipal shelters in the country and we are the first and so far the only city to meet and sustain a ninety percent live outcome rate in order to do that it was necessary to grow our life-saving programs our foster program has 1300 homes and last year fostered over 2,400 animals the adoption program has nearly doubled in the past several years it operates at the Austin Animal Center at Town Lake Animal Center and at multiple off-site locations and finally our transfer program provides live outcomes for animals by working with over 100 rescue partners in fact last year our transfer partners accounted for thirty-seven percent of our live outcomes this performance indicator does fluctuate each year depending on what we

refer to as kitten season last year for example we had over 1,100 more kittens come into the shelter than the previous year and those that we cannot have capacity for in our foster program are transferred to our rescue partners as soon as possible the other half of the equation is preventing shelter intakes and so an important part of no-kill success is the public's pain uder program to keep up with nevermind get ahead of population growth we will need to do more it toward that an animal services officer is working with our partners in a collaborative approach that includes grant seeking and increased outreach efforts our budget forecast includes citywide cost drivers such as insurance fuel and fleet maintenance and our departmental cost drivers include utilities for the new Austin animal shelter and also for use at Town Lake animal shelter we have an increase in commodities which specifically includes medical supplies and food for the animals and we have an increase in expenses due to the transfer of one position from the health department over to the Animal Services office our revenue forecast is projected

at one point four million dollars primarily this includes the revenue from the interlocal agreement with Travis County it also includes adoption revenue and other fees generated by the Animal Protection Unit Animal Services has saved at least ninety percent of the animals coming into the shelter for the last 25 months in a row but we have also operated over budget the last two fiscal years and the main culprit is personnel expense the Animal Services office has employed an average of twenty temporary employees for the last year and a half which was and still is necessary to meet the daily operational needs of the department the three main areas where temporary employees are permanently filling the gap include customer service animal care and the behavior program for the center the customer service unit handles the intake the return to owner all the adoptions the off-site adoption locations operations at town lake and all other customer service functions for the department in order to meet our no-kill goals we've expanded our open hours to the public and we are fully staffed and opened 363 days every year customer service handles the 20,000

animals that intake providing live outcomes for over ninety percent of them animal care is is handling an average of five hundred animals to feed and clean each day most notably it's we are not meeting the association of shelter veterinarians guidelines for care which requires a minimum of 15 minutes per day per animal this was noted by a state inspector last fall and needs to be remedied the new shelter is 5,000 square feet larger than the old shelter and the majority of this is a sterile veterinary hospital environment which requires and requires intensive cleaning finally the the animal health technicians for behavior program is part of the implementation plan and provides evaluations for the safe and and appropriate placement for all of the shelter animals this is a public safety issue and is a dependent and live outcome rates are dependent upon a good behavior program currently this program only has one FTE provided and we are requesting to additional FTEs with the implementation plan in place and the move to the new shelter behind us what seems evident now is that neither the Nokia plan nor the move to the Austin

Animal Center were adequately budgeted for in terms of the number of people it takes to sustain a ninety percent live outcome rate and operate a 40,000 square foot facility this budget request for fiscal year 14 is to convert 14 of our 20 temporary positions in order to meet the business needs of the department and to be in compliance with the city's temporary employee policy on behalf of all of the staff volunteers and animals at the Austin Animal Center thank you for taking the time to review the Animal Services fiscal year 14 forecast presentation